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Bitspower Launches Sobek Z390 Monoblock for ASUS ROG Maximus XI Series

Bitspower, one of the world's leading suppliers of water-cooling equipment for performance computers, has this week launched a new mono block for the Republic of Gamers Maximus XI APEX motherboard. The new product is part of the company's Sobek Z390 range, which also includes blocks for the following motherboards: MSI's MEG Z390 Godlike, Republic of Gamers's ROG Maximus XI Extreme, and Maximus XI Hero.

The block has been built to offer your motherboard maximum cooling, with a design that simultaneously cools both the CPU and VRMs. Featuring a direct water injection design, the coldest water first runs over the CPU, then the liquid is redirected over the VRMs, keeping everything at a low temperature for optimal performance.

EK-Classic - Less Talk, More Cooling!

EK Water Blocks, the leading premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer, announces the expansion and global availability of newly released Classic Product Lineup. The Classic Lineup is directly addressing price-conscious users while reusing some of the key technological solutions that set the EK as the market leader in the PC liquid cooling industry. The packaging, just as the products themselves are streamlined and simplified, making Classic Line Products the pure essence of liquid cooling. And now, it's available for everyone.

The portfolio is now bearing all the relevant parts that a user needs to complete his liquid cooling loop. The existing combo unit, CPU block and GPU block are now joined with Classic Line radiators, fittings and even a GPU block for the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. The Classic Lineup is implementing EK's market-proven technologies that ensure high-quality and high-performance liquid cooling products at a more accessible price. Available at about 3/4 of the price of leading EK Quantum series products, our products can now reach more liquid cooling enthusiasts that desire efficient cooling with EK's guaranteed quality and excellent customer support.

ASUS Unveils ROG Strix B365-G Gaming Motherboard

With inventories of the B360 Express digesting nicely, motherboard vendors are finally implementing its replacement, the B365 Express, in premium gaming-grade products. ASUS rolled out its first Republic of Gamers (ROG) product, with the ROG Strix B365-G Gaming. Built in the micro-ATX form-factor, this board packs many gamer-essentials and is targeted at PC gamers who don't bother with overclocking. With its in-BIOS memory frequency setting capped at DDR4-2667, ASUS is very specific about the target audience. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU with a 7+2 phase VRM. The board supports all 9th gen and 8th gen Core "Coffee Lake/Refresh" processors out of the box.

The LGA1151 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots that support up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2667 memory; and the board's sole PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot with a metal reinforcement. A PCI-Express 3.0 x1, M.2 E-key slot (for WLAN cards), and PCI-Express 3.0 x4 (physical x16), make for the rest of the expansion area. Storage connectivity includes two M.2-2280 slots, one of which supports both PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps, while the other is just PCI-Express 3.0 x4; and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. The board's sole 1 GbE interface is driven by an Intel i219-V controller. USB connectivity includes two type-A 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, besides six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two by headers). The onboard audio solution combines a Realtek ALC1220A CODEC with dual OPAMPs, EMI shielding, audio-grade capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. A couple of 3-pin addressable RGB headers make for the rest of this board, which is expected to retail around the $100-mark.

AMD Reports First Quarter 2019 Financial Results- Gross margin expands to 41%, up 5 percentage points year-over-year

AMD today announced revenue for the first quarter of 2019 of $1.27 billion, operating income of $38 million, net income of $16 million and diluted
earnings per share of $0.01. On a non-GAAP(*) basis, operating income was $84 million, net income was $62 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.06.

"We delivered solid first quarter results with significant gross margin expansion as Ryzen and EPYC processor and datacenter GPU revenue more than doubled year-over-year," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "We look forward to the upcoming launches of our next-generation 7nm PC, gaming
and datacenter products which we expect to drive further market share gains and financial growth."

ASUS Reveals Listing of Motherboards, Chipsets Receiving Update for Next-gen Ryzen; A-Series Absent

ASUS today has posted a full listing of the motherboards that are receiving BIOS updates to allow for full compatibility with AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. These range across the B350, X370, B450, and X470 chipsets, with everything from ROG to TUF to Prime-branded motherboards receiving the support update. Conspicuously absent, though, are ASUS' A-series motherboards, based on the A320 chipset - despite it supporting the same electrical load as its B350 counterpart.

An ASUS remark claiming that "new models to be listed" gives some hope, but there have been unofficial rumors of A-series-based motherboards not supporting AMD's latest CPUs - and that ASUS claim could well be directed to some unlisted motherboards between the already mentioned chipsets.

Bitspower Launches New CPU Block- Summit MS OLED- For Intel Platform

Bitspower, a leading supplier of water-cooling equipment for performance computers, has announced the release of their latest Intel CPU block, the Bitspower Touchaqua CPU Block Summit MS OLED for Intel Platform. This product combines the best of both performance and aesthetics to give you an ideal cooling solution for LGA 115x and LGA 2066 socket CPUs. In addition to a CNC-machined block top made of hardwearing acrylic and base made of high-quality copper, the block features a digital thermal sensor and a bright OLED display so you can monitor your water-cooling loop temperature in real time, as well as dazzling DRGB lighting.

The block incorporates a single piece of wiring that runs power to both the DRGB lighting, as well as the temperature gauge - ensuring that you can keep the design of your build as clean as possible. Furthermore, the water block's RGB LED Strip has been certified by ASUS AURA Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync, ASRock Polychrome and Razer Chroma-so it's highly compatible with a range of setups. Bitspower Touchaqua range offers the same quality as Bitspower's regular product lines, but features a range of unique functions and designs.

EK Releases EK-Momentum Quantum Line Monoblock for ROG Maximus XI Hero D-RGB

EK Water Blocks, premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer from Europe, is releasing a second Intel LGA1151 socket based monoblock from the Quantum Line. The EK-Momentum Maximus XI Hero is tailor-made for the ROG Maximus XI Hero motherboard. The monoblock is equipped with a 3-pin D-RGB LED strip and it offers unparallel aesthetical customization alongside superior performance with VRM cooling. The RGB LED in the monoblock is compatible with ASUS AURA RGB control, thus offering a full lighting customization experience for every single diode separately!

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Released: TU117, 896 Cores, 4 GB GDDR5, $150

NVIDIA today rolled out the GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card at USD $149.99. Like its other GeForce GTX 16-series siblings, the GTX 1650 is derived from the "Turing" architecture, but without RTX real-time raytracing hardware, such as RT cores or tensor cores. The GTX 1650 is based on the 12 nm "TU117" silicon, which is the smallest implementation of "Turing." Measuring 200 mm² (die area), the TU117 crams 4.7 billion transistors. It is equipped with 896 CUDA cores, 56 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 4 GB of memory clocked at 8 Gbps (128 GB/s bandwidth). The GPU is clocked at 1485 MHz, and the GPU Boost at 1665 MHz.

The GeForce GTX 1650 at its given price is positioned competitively with the Radeon RX 570 4 GB from AMD. NVIDIA has been surprisingly low-key about this launch, by not just leaving it up to the partners to drive the launch, but also sample reviewers. There are no pre-launch Reviewer drivers provided by NVIDIA, and hence we don't have a launch-day review for you yet. We do have GTX 1650 graphics cards, namely the Palit GTX 1650 StormX, MSI GTX 1650 Gaming X, and ASUS ROG GTX 1650 Strix OC.

Update: Catch our reviews of the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1650 OC and MSI GTX 1650 Gaming X

NVIDIA to Flesh out Lower Graphics Card Segment with GeForce GTX 1650 Ti

It seems NVIDIA's partners are gearing up for yet another launch, sometime after the GTX 1650 finally becomes available. ECC Listings have made it clear that partners are working on another TU117 variant, with improved performance, sitting between the GTX 1650 and the GTX 1660, which will should bring the fight to AMD's Radeon RX 580. Of course, with the GTX 1660 sitting pretty at a $219 price, this leaves anywhere between the GTX 1650's $149 and the GTX 1660's $229 for the GTX 1650 Ti to fill. With the GTX 1660 being an average of 13% faster than the RX 580, it makes sense for NVIDIA to look for another SKU to cover that large pricing gap between the 1650 and the 1660.

It's speculated that the GeForce GTX 1650 could feature 1024 CUDA Cores, 32 ROPs and 64 TMUs. These should be paired with the same 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM running across a 128-bit bus at the same 8000 MHz effective clock speeds as the GTX 1650, delivering a bandwidth of 128 GB/s. Should NVIDIA be able to pull the feat of keeping the same 75W TDP between its Ti and non-Ti GTX 1650 (as it did with the GTX 1660), that could mean that a 75 W graphics card would be contending with AMD's 185 W RX 580 - a mean, green feet in the power efficiency arena. A number of SKUs for the GTX 1650 Ti have been leaked on ASUS' side of the field, which you can find after the break.

ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Cards in Pictures

As NVIDIA's AIB partners gear-up for launch of the $149 GTX 1650, more and more of their custom designs are popping up and about for interested buyers to start taking their picks. Remember that the GTX 1650 launch will be entirely partner-driven, with no reference design or NVIDIA-sold version of the graphics card.

GIGABYTE has seen the lid come off on no less than four graphics cards: three dual-fan configurations in the form of the GAMING OC (with LED lighting and the longest of the cards at 265 mm), WINDFORCE OC (sans RGB lighting and smaller at 229 mm), and the 1650 OC (1680 MHz Boost). An interesting proposition will be GIGABYTE's MINI ITX OC, which shrinks down dimensions considerably to just 152 mm length (sacrificing one of the two fans in the process).

NVIDIA Adding 7 "G-Sync Compatible" Monitors to Its Listing on April 23rd

NVIDIA has confirmed that seven new monitors will be receiving the "G-Sync Compatible" badge come April 23rd. These FreeSync monitors have thus been certified by NVIDIA to work flawlessly with their implementation of VRR outside of the need of a dedicated, expensive G-Sync module.

Three of these monitors are manufactured by Acer (KG271 Bbmiipx, XF240H Bmjdpr, and XF270H Bbmiiprx), one from LG (27GK750F (AUSUMPM / BKRUMPN)), one from ASUS (VG248QG), one from Gigabyte (Aorus AD27QD) and finally, one from AOPEN (27HC1R Pbidpx). If you are rocking any of these alongside an NVIDIA graphics card, you can enable VRR already, but for those who still haven't done so, know that your is one of the lucky few monitors to have NVIDIA's compatibility badge.

Cooler Master Introduces New Square Fan Series

Cooler Master, a global leader in PC component manufacturing, today, announces the launch of their new Square Fan (SF) series of PC fans. Introduced as part of the MasterFan family, the new SF series of fans are equipped not only with RGB lighting, but features designed to enhance user experience in installation and performance.

Three new fans are included in the new SF series, the MasterFan SF120R RGB, SF120R ARGB and the SF360R ARGB. All three fans feature Cooler Master's new square fan design, while the SF360R ARGB fan incorporates multiple fans in an All-In-One frame. The entire SF series features rubber pads around each point of connection to decreases vibration and reduce noise pollution. In addition, the SF series of fans are designed to be compatible with all current AIO liquid coolers and most computer cases.

EK Unveils Momentum CPU+VRM Monoblock for ASUS Maximus XI Extreme

EK Water Blocks, premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer from Europe, is releasing a new Intel LGA1151 socket based monoblock from the Quantum Line. The EK-Momentum Maximus XI Extreme is tailor-made for the ROG Maximus XI Extreme motherboard. The monoblock is equipped with a 3-pin D-RGB LED strip and it offers unparallel aesthetical customization alongside superior performance with VRM cooling. The RGB LED in the monoblock is compatible with ASUS AURA RGB control, thus offering a full lighting customization experience for every single diode separately.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for motherboards that supports the 8th and 9th generation of Intel Core processors. It is compatible with the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme Z390 motherboard. Designed and engineered in cooperation with ASUS , this monoblock uses the latest generation of EK cooling engine used on the Quantum lineup to ensure the best possible CPU cooling while not reducing flow to other components. This water block directly cools the LGA1151 socket type CPU, as well as the voltage regulation (MOSFET) module.

ASUS Updates Security Certificates of Motherboards, Graphics Cards, Mini PCs, Workstations and Servers

ASUS is releasing this advisory to provide information related to the new implementation of a tiered certificate structure that upgrades the security infrastructure of our expanding software ecosystem. The upgrade requires the current code-signing certificate of several ASUS products to be revoked. This revocation can cause some existing software utilities to trigger a Windows Security dialog box, and may prevent legitimate ASUS programs, such as Aura, AI Suite III, GPU Tweak II and others, from running normally when users attempt to execute the associated 'Setup.exe' or 'AsusSetup.exe' file.

The new versions of each ASUS software update, code-signed with a new digital certificate are now available for download at the link provided below. Once the latest version of the respective software is downloaded, the relevant program can be installed and run normally. Further information can be found in the Advisory FAQ section below. Users who have any inquiries or concerns are welcome to contact ASUS Customer Service. ASUS apologizes for any inconvenience caused by this update.

ASUS Readies ProArt PA27UCX 27-inch UHD Monitor with DisplayHDR 1000

ASUS today released its premium 27-inch monitor, the ProArt PA27UCX. The monitor is designed to look great on corner-office desks, and packs a serious feature-set. To begin with, you get 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) resolution, with DisplayHDR 1000 compliance, true 10-bpc color (1.07 billion colors), with DCI-P3, Rec. 709, Rec. 2020 and Adobe RGB wide color gamut, and color accuracy pre-calibration. The IPS panel is illuminated by micro LEDs featuring 576 zones dynamic dimming backlight control. HDR-10 and HLG are also supported. As part of the monitor's design, it only has a single USB-C connector with DisplayPort 1.4 and 60W power draw. A hub adapts standard DisplayPort and an included power-brick.

Cooler Master Intros TUF Gaming Alliance ML120L and MA410P Variants

Cooler Master today rolled out ASUS TUF Gaming Alliance co-branded variants of its MasterLiquid ML120L and MasterAir MA410P CPU coolers. For the ML120L this means an illuminated TUF Gaming Alliance decal on the pump-block, for the MA410P it means a unique die-cast metal top-plate over the aluminium fin-stack; and both coolers now come with a special variant of the included MasterFan 120 Pro Air Balance fan with orange frame mount cushioning, an impeller hub sticker, and ASUS' favorite shade of orange for TUF being the default color for all RGB LED elements on these coolers; although you can change the color. The MasterAir MA410P remains Cooler Master's popular work-horse in its air CPU cooler product-stack, while the MasterLiquid ML120L is closer to the entry-level of its liquid cooling product stack, which fit perfectly with the market-segment ASUS hopes to capture with its TUF Gaming Alliance brand.

ASUS Announces Three New G-Sync Compatible Monitors With 0.5 ms Response Times and 165 Hz Refresh Rates

ASUS has launched three new monitors that are being marketed as G-Sync compatible - not as FreeSync-capable. These span three diagonal sizes in the form of the 27-inch VG278QR, the 24.5-inch VG258QR, and the 24-inch VG248QG. All share the same 1,920 x 1,080, TN panels that boast of blazing fast response times (ASUS quotes 0.5 ms), and high-ceiling refresh rates of 165 Hz for fluid gameplay. Additionally, ASUS claims they take their G-Sync Compatible monitors through a two-stage certification process in close communication with NVIDIA, which ensures these are some of the best Adaptive Sync monitors you can buy for usage with NVIDIA's cards.

All monitors feature ASUS' GameVisual presets that adjust screen settings according to the type of game you're playing. They also feature ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB) for flickering reduction. On the ergonomics side of the equation, all three monitors support tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments, and I/O is handled by 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI (v1.4), 1x Dual Link DVI-D, 1x Earphone Jack Audio in.

ASUS Announces ROG Strix Scope Series Keyboard

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced ROG Strix Scope, the mechanical gaming keyboard with Xccurate Design - an extra-wide Ctrl key for enhanced precision on FPS battlefields. The Control (Ctrl) key is crucial to success in modern first-person-shooter games. With this in mind the ROG R&D team carefully examined the play style of FPS gamers, applying their findings to create a Ctrl key that's more than 2X wider than traditional Ctrl keys as well as a shortened left Windows key that's designed to be less of a target.

For gamers wanting to switch things up a bit, the all-black look of Strix Scope can be punctuated by four silver-colored caps for the vital WASD key group. Included with Strix Scope, these alternative caps create a striking contrast to the rest of the keys - a standout look that benefits both form and function. A special keycap-puller tool is also bundled for easy removal and customization of the most-used keys.

ASUS Intros Prime B365-Plus Motherboard

Response from motherboard manufacturers to the Intel B365 Express mid-range socket LGA1151 chipset has been rather lukewarm, with very few product launches. The B365 Express is a rebadged H270 Express with 8th and 9th generation Core CPU support replacing 6th and 7th gen. ASUS launched one of its first ATX form-factor boards based on this chipset, with the Prime B365-Plus. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU with a 4+3 phase VRM. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. The board supports 9th generation Core processors out of the box.

Besides the main x16 slot, the board's expansion slots loadout is designed to benefit from the increased 20-lane PCIe budget of the B365 Express. You get a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4) slot, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots. There are two M.2 slots on offer. The bottom slot has PCI-Expres 3.0 x4 wiring only, and supports M.2-22110 drives, while the top M.2 slot has PCI-Express 3.0 x2 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring. There are six SATA 6 Gbps ports. Display connectivity includes one each of D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI. USB connectivity includes eight USB 3.0 ports, four on the rear panel, four by headers. The board's sole 1 GbE network interface is controlled by a Realtek 8111H PHY. The onboard audio solution is driven by an entry-level Realtek ALC887 CODEC. Expect this board to be priced around $90.

Glued Die on ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Affects Some Aftermarket Cooling Solutions

Update April 4th: This post has been corrected based on new information provided by ASUS, EKWB, as well as other parties. The original story mentioned a silent change to the glue used on the PCB which, as we now believe, is no longer the case in that ASUS is not to blame.

Update April 5th: ASUS has confirmed to us that there has been no PCB change (in terms of components and their heights), it's only a problem of tolerances due to the glue being liquid during production.

ASUS has glued the GPU die to the PCB for many generations, which helps ensure contact and avoids microfractures in the solder balls from physical force or thermal expansion. The nature of this glue, typically an epoxy resin, means that aftermarket cooling solutions, such as full cover or die-only water blocks, have to accommodate for this around the holes around the die. Previous graphics cards had no issue here, because the mounting holes were far away from the GPU die. With RTX 2080 Ti and its super large GPU chip this has changed, and there's only a few millimeters of space left. If a waterblock uses wider standoffs than the design merits, or if the glue spreads out farther than intended, it can result in poor/inconsistent contact between waterblock and the GPU, which in turn can lead to worse thermal performance than ideal.

This time, EK Waterblocks alerted us that the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti had poor contact and fitting issues with their GPU water block for the same, as seen in images below provided by their customer T. Hilal, which interferes with the four standoffs surrounding the package. EK recommends removing these standoffs to ensure a good fit and thermal paste spread, and this does not affect water block performance much in their internal testing. In previous such occasions, EK and others have had to come up with a second version of the block for added compatibility, however it remains to be seen if the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti will merit a similar treatment this time round. As an external reference, Phanteks has separately confirmed to us that their water block remains compatible.

ASUS Rolls Out ROG Swift PG349Q, a 120Hz Curved Ultrawide

ASUS today rolled out the ROG Swift PG349Q, one of the rare few curved ultrawide monitors with a high refresh-rate. This 34-inch display with a 21:9 aspect-ratio and 3440 x 1440 pixels native resolution, ticks at 120 Hz refresh-rate, and supports NVIDIA G-Sync technology. Its IPS panel has a rather obtuse 1900R curvature compared to the more common 1800R, with 178°/178° viewing-angles. Other vital specs include 300 cd/m² maximum brightness, 4 ms (GTG) response time, and 1000:1 static contrast ratio. The monitor offers flicker-free brightness adjustment, by using a non-PWM method to dim the LEDs illuminating the panel. The back side of the monitor and its stand are studded with RGB LEDs, which you control using Aura Sync RGB software. The monitor takes in HDMI and DisplayPort connections, and needs a USB connection to control the lighting. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Robust, Full-Metal Water Blocks - EK-Velocity WS and EK-VRM ASUS ROG Dominus Extreme

EK Water Blocks, the leading premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing the EK-Velocity WS, a robust premium grade water block for narrow ILM LGA 3647 (Socket P) Intel processors, and the EK-VRM ASUS ROG Dominus Extreme, a VRM water block tailor-made for the ROG Dominus Extreme motherboard. Both are all metal water blocks with nickel plated copper cold plates and nickel plated brass tops. No compromise on quality, durability, and performance!

ASUS Responds to Reports of ASUS Live Update System Being Compromised by Hackers

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks are national-level attacks usually initiated by a couple of specific countries, targeting certain international organizations or entities instead of consumers. ASUS Live Update is a proprietary tool supplied with ASUS notebook computers to ensure that the system always benefits from the latest drivers and firmware from ASUS. A small number of devices have been implanted with malicious code through a sophisticated attack on our Live Update servers in an attempt to target a very small and specific user group. ASUS customer service has been reaching out to affected users and providing assistance to ensure that the security risks are removed.

ASUS has also implemented a fix in the latest version (ver. 3.6.8) of the Live Update software, introduced multiple security verification mechanisms to prevent any malicious manipulation in the form of software updates or other means, and implemented an enhanced end-to-end encryption mechanism. At the same time, we have also updated and strengthened our server-to-end-user software architecture to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future.

Intel Readies New Stepping of 9th Gen Core Processors

Intel is readying a new stepping of 9th generation Core processors, which could require motherboard BIOS updates. ASUS released a statement in which it mentions that Intel is preparing to launch processors based on the new stepping of "Coffee Lake Refresh" silicon from Q2-2019. It goes on to say that BIOS updates have been released for its entire line of Intel 300-series chipset motherboards for supporting the new stepping. The company doesn't mention what the stepping ID is, or what's different.

The statement reads: "ASUS has released BIOS updates for all 300 series motherboards, adding support for the forthcoming 9th Generation Intel Core processors based on new stepping. These processors are scheduled for launch in Q2, 2019. The latest BIOS updates are available for download now from the ASUS website." You can find these updated BIOS ROMs on the product page of your motherboard on ASUS website.
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